Out of the FOG

Coping with Personality Disorders => Dealing with PD Elderly Family Members => Topic started by: Spirit in the sky on July 11, 2019, 06:49:16 PM

Title: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: Spirit in the sky on July 11, 2019, 06:49:16 PM
Thankfully my mum is physically healthy and active although my childhood was traumatic and I am the Adult Child of two dysfunctional parents most of the time I can deal with my emotionally unstable mother.

Recently itís becoming more challenging her friend and neighbour who is also 86 was taken into hospital with 3 aneurisms and sheís also got bad eyesight and has fallen at home. She has a daughter and a son neither of which want to be responsible for her care and have decided she isnít fit to be living alone, and they have got her a place in a nursing home.

My mum is furious and ranting on about how the daughter show have moved into the motherís house to look after her, even though her husband is also ill in hospital. Everyday she keeps saying itís a disgrace that her friend was put into a home, obviously she agreed because she is mentally alert.

Now my mother keeps on and on at me saying I hope you wouldnít dare put me in a home. Asking me to promise that I wonít, which obviously I canít because no one knows what the future holds. I just keep avoiding the subject and laugh it off saying I have no children to look after me in my old age.
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: illogical on July 11, 2019, 07:17:38 PM
Good for you, Spirit in the Sky!  for not promising your PD mother anything.

My NM frequently flung up in my face that her neighbor was taking in her mother, later her sister and finally her brother-in-law.  She vaulted her to sainthood because of this behavior.  :no:  She was passive-aggressive and wanted me to take her in.  Not gonna happen!

I think it's great you are establishing this boundary early!!  Because sooner or later, you may be asked to make a decision.  Continue to stand firm now and not let your mother "guilt" you into an obligation you want no part of.  :hug:
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: Amadahy on July 11, 2019, 07:36:00 PM
Dear Spirit,

The biggest mistake in my whole life was taking my Nmom into our home. After six months, I had to evict her. Sheís been in a personal care home, homeless and now has an apartment and LOTS of help from adult day care. This was three years ago and my mental and physical health is still compromised, although I am getting slowly well. 

Donít do it! Donít ever, ever, ever do it. I deeply regret the harm she caused me and my family. It was a nightmare!
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: TriedTooHard on July 11, 2019, 07:43:29 PM
If she goes into a home, what's she going to do to you that's any worse than she's already done?

When my flea ridden brother and I finally started getting along, we used to email each other stories of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, and put in the subject line:  "I found a great place for mom!"

I'm sure it wasn't the best way to deal with our issues, but it served as much needed gallows humor at the time. 
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: WomanInterrupted on July 12, 2019, 02:21:00 AM
TriedTooHard - You owe me a new keyboard!  "I found a great place for mom!"   :rofl: :worship:

Spirit, unBPD  Didi would often lament at the fate of others who wound up in nursing homes, shaking her head, getting upset or angry, being indignant on their behalf, because *you have children to take care of you when you're old.*   :aaauuugh:

She even bemoaned *my* chosen childlessness by saying, "But who is going to take care of you when you're old!?"   :dramaqueen:

I'd say, "The state..."  :phoot: - and she'd get a *really* weird look on her face.

For a *very* long time, I didn't realize I was being *groomed* to be her and/or unNPD Ray's caregiver - I mean, these are the same two people who acted like the 3-hour drive to their hometown was actually a trip to Mars, wouldn't act in *any* sort of caregiving capacity for their elderly parents except to offer money and criticism to the ones that were stuck being "it" - and now they expected me to put my life on hold for THEM?   :???:

Not bloody likely!   8-)

Once they get it into their heads that you're going to be the Old Age Golden Parachute Plan - that's it.  You'll never change their minds.  Even if you moved halfway around the globe tomorrow, they *still* think you'll come back and either take them in to a new house or move into theirs, where the abuse will continue nonstop, 24/7.  :stars:

My best suggestion to you is *deflect* - and keep repeating that you don't have kids.  She hasn't seem to caught on to the fact that  YOU don't have  an Old Age Golden Parachute Plan.  Make her no promises, even though they're *completely* unenforceable promises - as you said, you never know what the future will bring, and for me, it meant chucking  either one or both of them in a nursing home at the first possible moment!   :yes:

Didi tried getting me to be her 24/7 slave - it got her lower phone contact and Medium Chill instead.  So she doubled-down on the unnecessary hospitalizations for her Makeitupitis - it got her even *lower* phone contact.   :ninja:

Then she started mentioning when the days when people would have a hospital bed in their living room, for dear old mom and dad  - oh, screw that noise!  I noped right out of that and lowered contact even *more* - but as a way of making conversation, mentioned we were painting the living room, and she said we didn't have to do that for HER.   :aaauuugh:

I said, "We're not.  We're doing it for us."   :ninja:

She them waifed, "Where are you going to put your furniture?"   :dramaqueen: :violin:

I said, "Right back where it was, once the paint is dry."   :ninja:

The sick, sad, weak little waif slammed her heavy 1970's phone down in my ear.   :roll:

It took me a full day to realize *she thought she was getting her hospital bed.*   :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

She died in Hospice, in the company of strangers, a few weeks later, after repeatedly being ordered OUT of the ER, due to her terminal cancer and DNR.   :roll:

Ray was a lot easier - after I dehoarded the place (because I have to sleep at night, too), I went back to VVVVVVVVVVVVVLC, avoided his calls, let the machine pick up, made myself as hard to get hold of as the summit of Everest, and wound up doing four separate rounds with social workers, trying to "motivate" me to be his caregiver, when I was the one who suggested a competency test in the first place!   :doh:

He had a team of caregivers in place, after a heart attack he'll swear to you that he never had, fired them all, and locked out the world, thinking *I* should care for him.   :no:

He was wrong - and he overplayed his hand in spectacular fashion by falling on the bathroom floor the day the Visiting Nurse *just happened* to be coming by, figuring she'd drag me over there by my ear and read me the riot act.

Instead, I stayed here, gave the cops permission to break in, and since APS was on site, the social worker had him pulled from the house and taken to a hospital, where he was declared incompetent not much later, when he tried snowing a shrink to work his own agenda.   :wacko:

I let an eldercare attorney hammer out the financial deets, and the nursing home does the rest.  I've been NC for over 3 glorious years.   :yahoo:

If that's what you have in mind for your mom - don't let on.  Make a plan to work with Team Professionals, behind the scenes (you don't want her to know you're in on that plan to get her into AL), and go into Stealth Mode - meaning, if you're her Health Care Proxy and you think she's starting to slip, *you* can order a competency test and *she won't know you did it.*   :ninja:

Once one is ordered, they'll keep retesting periodically, depending on how she did, and how bad her other medical issues are.  She'll be on a *bubble* -  and people will start becoming more and more aware of her many issues - including her difficult personality, which will probably start to run the show as she's able to do less and less, as her age increases.

I can't tell you how many times I said, "I can't make Ray listen to a damned thing. If I say it, it's WRONG, and he'll do the exact opposite, trying to prove he's fine when he's anything BUT."

If that's what you see for yourself - start extricating yourself NOW, start shoring up your boundaries (what you will/won't do), and *refuse* to get involved.   :yes:

If asked to be her caregiver for only "one hour a week!" - REFUSE.  That one hour will quickly become two, become four, become four hours, twice a week, become four hours, every few days, then four hours a *day* and before you even realize Caregiver Creep has set in, you'll be at hers, 8 hours a day - or more - and she'll call you the second you get home, to *complain about all the stuff you missed or didn't do.*   :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh: :aaauuugh:

You don't want it to get to the point where you're taking her to the ER, over a minor medical issue, just to say, "I can't take her home.  She needs  more care than I give.  You HAVE to place her in a nursing home!"

Yes - that's *legal* and *acceptable* (it's a safe place) - but you don't want to be so run down, burned out and dragged through the dirt  that you feel it's the only option.   :no:

Thinking of these things now is your best option - you can come up with a plan that best suits  you, and your mom may not like it, but *tough.*   8-)

If she can't plan her own future and thinks *you* will be responsible for her - well, she's probably going to find out the hard way that her Old Age Golden Parachute Plan had some kind of large bird fly into it, which tore a great, big, hole - and now it's crashing.

It doesn't have to take you down with it.   :sunny:

Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: Spirit in the sky on July 12, 2019, 06:03:12 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies. My mumís behaviour reminds not to let my guard down, most times she can be placid when everything is going according to her plan but when someone steps out of line her controlling nature kicks in.

Thankfully my father is still alive and although not in great health he is 10 years younger than her so really she is his problem. He also has issues, although his drinking has been curbed due to kidney and blabber problems, obviously caused by his alcoholism.

They are a lethal combination co-dependant and self obsessed at the same time. My mother is the dominant dictator while my father rebels, is punished with the silent treatment for weeks. He sulk, she sulks, he drinks falls over, she cries, they make up until he steps out of line again, and cycle continues as it has done since my childhood.

They are both physically able to look after themselves and I let them get on with it. Iíve cut down on the amount of time I spend with them and arrange to have shopping delivered directly as it saves me going round. If i phone and my mother starts her moaning, I change the subject. Her latest thing is she keeps telling me how much she worries about me. Itís becoming an obsession she keeps going on and on about being careful when travelling etc, treating me like child. If I ask her to stop she starts crying and says she just cares so much. Itís seriously irritating.
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: stasia on July 14, 2019, 01:35:05 PM
Her latest thing is she keeps telling me how much she worries about me. Itís becoming an obsession she keeps going on and on about being careful when travelling etc, treating me like child. If I ask her to stop she starts crying and says she just cares so much. Itís seriously irritating.

That's so annoying, I'm sorry! When my mother did that, I finally realized, it wasn't that she was worried about me for ME. She was worried about "who is going to help me if something happens to my daughter?" It was still all about her; I could've been dragging myself around half dead but as long as I was still able to DO for her then never mind how bad my physical or mental health was. After a while I just tried to tune it out.
Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: WomanInterrupted on July 15, 2019, 03:07:49 AM

If your mom "worries" so much, that's the PERFECT reason to stick to Medium Chill and put her on a TOTAL Information Diet.   :yes:

She can't be worried about what she doesn't know, can she?    :bigwink:

Stasia is absolutely right - that "worry" will drive you crazy, especially when you realize she's NOT worried about you, but that *you won't be able to see to her needs or take care of her.*   :aaauuugh: >:(

That's why they try to keep us housebound, if at all possible - if we're *home* nothing bad can happen. (In a perfect world!  :doh: )  If nothing bad can happen to us, we will ALWAYS be available to do what they want, when they want it.   :blink: :thumbdown:

That's why they "worry" when we go on trips, go across town, go pick up a carton of milk, have lunch with a friend, walk the dog, go to the gym or yoga, take the car to the shop, take a class we enjoy (arts and crafts, or furthering our educations), or *just don't answer the phone, for some reason.*  :???:

Or we don't call them regularly, like they *want* and *expect* - and they resort to calling us.  That's when we get to hear things like, "I thought you'd run away from home!"  "I thought you were dead in a ditch!"   or *this* gem of Olympic sized weirdness, courtesy of unBPD Didi:  "I thought your DH left you and went to Vegas, and you didn't want to tell me!" 

What fresh hell is THIS!?   :roll:

Why would I not tell her?  Because she'd *put me to work*, immediately, taking care of HER, since I had *no man* to care for and could be *useful* to her, instead of being *useless* by myself?   >:(

I told her she was being silly - everything was fine and I've just been BUSY.  :ninja:

That might want to become your stock answer to everything, too - You were busy, with NO explanation.   :yes: :ninja:

If put to the question of WHAT or WHY, stick to, "Oh you know, the usual."  "You know, never a dull moment around here."  "Same stuff, different day - I don't want to bore you."   :ninja: :thumbup:

Here's the thing with "busy":  you are a human being, not a human DOING, so "busy" is you, taking a day for yourself, to do nothing but lounge in the back yard, with a trashy novel.   :)

You being "busy" is lounging in your PJ's, over the NY Times crossword.   8-)

You being "busy" is doing *absolutely nothing at all* - if that's what you WANT to do.   :sunny:

YOU are BUSY being YOU and living your life.   :yahoo:

That's ALL the busy you need to be - and she doesn't get ANY details or she will pick holes in them ("You can do that later, when you're done with what I want!" or, "That doesn't SOUND busy - that sounds LAZY!") or "worry" about what you're doing, because it could be *dangerous* and she might lose her Old Age Golden Parachute Plan! 

I once made the mistake, before I knew about this site, of telling unBPD Didi that DH and I were going to the zoo.

You know - the zoo?  Where all the animals are in really nice enclosures, that mimic their natural habitats?  :)

She *freaked* - what if I fell into the polar bear enclosure?!?  What if the lions or tigers escape!?!?  What if the baboons go on a rampage!?!?   :dramaqueen:

I didn't know about this site (it may not have even existed at that time), but I *did* know something was REALLY wrong, and said in a VERY matter-of-fact voice, "Then we would have a big problem, but none of that stuff is going to happen.  It's just the zoo.  We'll be fine."   :ninja:

She then tried, "But they have BEES at the zoo and you HATE bees!"  :dramaqueen:

Okay - they don't actually have a bee exhibit, but bees frequent the flowers and plants, and I *do* have a very serious bee, wasp and hornet phobia (seriously - I've never been stung, but I'm freaking *terrified* of them) - and  I know now she was trying desperately to get me to *stay in the house, where I'd be safe* - at the time, I just said, "DH will protect me - and I run fast" - and got off the phone, wondering WTF was up with THAT!?   :stars:

THAT was the foreshadowing of Things To Come, where *everything* made her "worry."   :wacko:

The less you tell your mom, the better off you'll be.  I wish I'd learned that one about 40 years ago!   :yes:

And *you'll* probably feel a lot better, without her dumping that "worry" on you, and making you feel bad or guilty for *nothing.*   8-)

Title: Re: PD mum driving me crazy
Post by: Spirit in the sky on July 17, 2019, 04:38:21 AM
That all sounds so familiar Woman Interrupted,

Itís a constant stream of Ďwatch crossing the roadí  Ďif your friend a good driverí ĎI donít like you taking the trainí and ridiculously Ďmind the holes in the roadí which she continues to say enough though the road works finished last year.

I donít even have to tell her anything she imagines dangers everywhere. Itís a miracle I survived childhood because I wasnít allowed out of her sight, I was never allowed on school trips, I wasnít allowed to go for a walk alone, the most ridiculous was when I a friends house and my mother was convinced they had abducted me. Sleepovers were out of the question, and I didnít ask anyone to stay with me because my mother was too weird and sheíd freak my friends out.

She has told me many times she had me (at 40 years old ) because she felt unloved and wanted someone of her own to love. Obviously my father wasnít anything other than a sleep donor. I have no idea why they are still together after 48 years in a loveless marriage, I have never seen them so each other any affection.

I have been doing the Ďbusy doing nothing thingí as I have been off work for 10 days holiday. Itís been the best staycation ever, just escaping the routine has been so relaxing. Iím also enjoying the nc with NMIL, finally I have a life of my own!